Gamers of the Week

Freshman Ethan Payne of Poca High School.

Ethan Payne is Gamer of the Week

Teays Physical Therapy Center, Inc. & the Putnam Herald are pleased to present this week’s male Gamer of the Week to Freshman Ethan Payne of Poca High School.

By Marcus Reynolds PT, DPT, CSCS

The Poca High School Dots football team has ended the nation’s second longest losing streak as they beat the Buffalo Bison’s 30-0. The win snapped a 39-game losing streak that started 4 years ago that ironically began after defeating Buffalo 32-28. One standout player that helped the Dots lead the charge to victory was freshman tailback Ethan Payne. Payne rushed for 166 yards and two touchdowns behind an offensive line that opened running holes big enough to drive a truck between. The talented freshman not only did it on the ground but in the air. Poca surprised Buffalo with a half back toss that resulted in Payne tossing a touchdown to junior receiver Bronson Skeens for 27 yards. All in all, the Dots dominated the game on all three sides of the ball, and won their first game in nearly four years. 

When asked about who inspires him, Ethan said, ”My older brother Jake inspired me because I grew up watching him play sports and I always looked up to him. I want to be a leader just like he was when he was the quarterback on the football team.” When asked about what are his personal goals for the season, Ethan said, “I would like to help my team get to a playoff game first and foremost. Personally, I would like to win freshman football player of the year and rush for at least 1,000 yards.’’ 

The Poca Dot’s confidence is back as they finally see a ”W’’ in the win column beside their name. This win has not only been felt within the football program, but within whole community. For a community that had a long history of successful football programs, finally they have hope that the glory days might return to Poca. When assistant football coach and defensive coordinator Aaron Rule was asked about what this win means going forward he replied, ‘’We spent our time celebrating the win versus Buffalo, but now we are on to our next opponent, Logan High School. We have to prepare for them and focus on correcting our mistakes to make us a better team. When asked about his star running back’s play this year Coach Rule said, “Ethan has stepped up and became a leader for our team. He has been practicing with more intensity and has been more focused in the film room and with game prep.” Coach Rule and Head Coach Seth Ramsey aren’t looking ahead to the future, but are focusing on the present to get Poca back on track and become competitive once again in the AA ranks. A sense of excitement is back in the Poca community as the football team is filled with pride and purpose and their fans have the desire to cheer on their team. 

Ethan currently has a 4.0 GPA and is the son of Sherry and Brent Payne. Payne also plans to play on Poca’s boy’s basketball and baseball teams later in the year. Ethan says he would like to continue playing football at the collegiate level at West Virginia University and study exercise physiology in pursuit of becoming a physical therapist.

Please look for other local high school athletes to be named in next week’s Male Gamer of the Week Sponsored by Teays Physical Therapy Center, Inc. & The Putnam Herald.

Marcus Reynolds PT, DPT, CSCS is a Doctor of Physical Therapy at the Teays Physical Therapy Center and assists with the Potential Plus Program.